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Japan detects new COVID-19 variant in traveler from Philippines

Japanese health authorities have detected a new COVID-19 variant from a traveler from the Philippines.

In a statement, Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases said the sample was collected from a traveler from the Philippines on February 25.

The NIID said the variant contains N501Y and E484K, two mutations of concern that were detected in Central Visayas last month.

Philippine Genome Center Executive Director Cynthia Saloma said the N501Y mutation had been linked to increased contagiousness while the E484K could lead to lowered vaccine efficacy. -NB, GMA News